Its important for your business to have a website. If you don’t sell online or offer an internet service you might not think your business requires one, but a website can serve as an extenstion to your business card and contain information about your business and service. You can showcase a gallery of images to promote your business and attract potential new clients. Putting on information about your history, experience, qualifications etc with give a new client confidence in you and hopefully get you a lead.
These days its doesn’t have to be expensive to have a website. There are plenty of affordable options out there and platforms that offer basic website services. Or you can hire a freelance website designer like myself who can help you and teach you how to run your own website to keep your costs down.
How to get started
- Domain Names & Hosting – choose your domain name and hosting company wisely. A UK based company is best with a UK Server. If you see the prices in Dollars don’t bother. UK2, 123, Heart Internet and CloudNext are reputable hosting copmanies. If its too overwhelming for you to set up, don’t worry I’m sure your web designer will sort this for you.
- Website Platform – A good CMS platform is key and my first choice is WordPress which is the most popular free open source software. There is a massive community to help you when you get stuck and thousands of free and premium templates. Other platforms are Joomla and Drupal. These platforms are easy to install on your website – if you have a good hosting company its just one click of a button and your ready to start adding your content.
- Plugins and Functions – What do you want your website to do? If you want it to take payments then it will need to integrate with paypal or another payment gateway and a shopping cart is required. You might want it to integrate with your facebook page or you might want to capture email addresses for a newsletter. There are so many plugins available, free and premium you can get you website to do whatever you want.
- Content – is the most important part of your website. You need to convey the right information to your vistors and keep them captivated. Its important that you keep your website up to date and keep it refreshed with new content. You can do this by keeping a blog and posting on it at least once a week or maybe publishing case studies about your recent work.
- Search Engine Optimisation – Register your site with Google, Yahoo and Bing. You don’t have to though, if your site has lots of content their spiders will eventually find you and if you will soon appear in their search results. I do recommend you register your business with Google Places. This will definately help with getting found on Google.
- Website Traffic – it might be hard to get found, depending on your business and competition. One of my clients was on the first page of Google within a few weeks of her site going live. This was the first time I had seen this and I beleive it was because she didn’t have another website to compete with for the service she was offering. If you are a plumber in a major city then you have lots of other plumbers to compete with and that is why it is important to keep your website fresh. If all fails then Google Ads will help. This can be expensive so unless you know what you’re doing you I recommend you pay an agent to manage your Google Ads for you.